Russo-Ukraine War - 18 December 2022 - Day 298
A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that on 14 December 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced the establishment of two 'front line creative brigades' tasked with raising the morale of troops deployed on the 'special military operation'. Russian media reports that the ranks will include opera singers, actors and circus performers. This follows a recent campaign by the Russian MoD to encourage the public to donate musical instruments to deployed soldiers.
Military music and organised entertainment for deployed troops have a long history in many militaries but in Russia they are strongly intertwined with the Soviet-era concept of ideological political education.
Fragile morale almost certainly continues to be a significant vulnerability across much of the Russian force. However, soldiers' concerns primarily focus on very high casualty rates, poor leadership, pay problems, lack of equipment and ammunition, and lack of clarity about the war's objectives. The creative brigades' efforts are unlikely to substantively alleviate these concerns.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Russia is trying to restore the lost ubiety in the Lyman direction; on Zaporizhzhia direction - restores railway infrastructure to improve logistics support. Concentrates efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. In other directions, Russia is conducting defense, concentrating its efforts on restraining the actions of units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine.
During the day, the Russian occupiers launched 4 missile strikes, and also fired about 20 MLRS strikes. Civilian infrastructure and civilians were affected. The threat of enemy air and missile strikes remains on the entire territory of Ukraine.
In the Volyn and Polissya directions, the situation has not changed significantly, and no signs of the formation of Russian offensive groups have been detected.
In the Siverskyi direction, the settlement of Bilokopytove of the Sumy oblast was hit by mortar fire.
In the Slobozhanskyi direction, Russia is holding a group of troops in the border areas of the Belgorod region, has carried out tank, mortar and artillery attacks on the areas of Chervona Zorya, Strilecha, Hlyboke, Vovchansk, Fiholivka, Dvorichna and Novomlynsk settlements of the Kharkiv oblast.
In the Kupian direction, the areas of Yagidne, Kislivka, Kotlyarivka, Krokhmalne and Berestove in Kharkiv oblast, and Novoselivka and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk oblast were shelled.
On the Lyman direction, Makiyivka, Ploschanka, Chervonopopivka and Dibrova in the Luhansk oblast were hit by fire.
In the direction of Bakhmut, Russian forces fired from tanks and the entire range of artillery in the areas of Verkhnokamyanske, Berestove, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Hryhorivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Chasiv Yar, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, Kurdyumivka, Diliivka, Ozaryanivka, Pivnichne and Opytne settlements of the Donetsk oblast.
In the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces inflicted a fire attack near Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, Donetsk oblast.
On the Zaporizhia and Kherson directions, the Temyrivka, Chervone, Mali Shcherbaky, and Plavni settlements of the Zaporizhzhia oblast and the city of Kherson were affected by enemy fire. There are casualties among civilians.
Russia continues to use educational institutions in the temporarily occupied territory to cover it units. Thus, in some settlements of the Vasyliv district of the Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian occupiers placed personnel in school buildings. At the same time, the educational process continues - children attend educational institutions.
Mobilization measures are ongoing in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk oblast. Since December 5 of the current year, military commissariats have sent registration cards to all enterprises in the region. A similar situation is observed in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk oblast. In the city of Horlivka, employees of communal enterprises are subject to mobilization.
During the day, the Ukrainian aviation made 6 strikes on the areas of concentration of personnel, weapons and military equipment and 3 strikes on the positions of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems. Units of missile troops and artillery of the Defense Forces of Ukraine hit 2 ammunition warehouses in a day.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports that over the past day, artillery and aircraft hit the command post of the 113th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU), 144 areas of accumulation of manpower and equipment, as well as 109 artillery units. An AN/TPQ-36 counter-battery radar was destroyed. At the same time, one enemy drone and nine rockets were intercepted by air defense means.
In addition, the liberation of the Yakovlevka settlement in the Donbass is officially confirmed.
Today Belgorod came under fire from Ukraine. It is known about the death of one worker of the local poultry farm and the injury of five more people, including the townspeople. The missiles were fired by an aircraft that took off from a Ukrainian military airfield near Mirgorod.
The situation in Donbass
As a result of artillery strikes on the concentrations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kislovka and Stelmakhivka, reconnaissance in force in the areas of Golikovo and Kremennaya was disrupted. The total losses of the enemy here amounted to 85 people, a tank, four cars and an armored personnel carrier.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian units tried to attack near Podgorodny, Kleschievka and Kurdyumovka in an effort to recapture recently lost ground. Having not achieved success, the enemy lost more than 40 people, 3 cars and 4 armored vehicles.
An enemy repair and evacuation group was defeated near Vremyevka, and three sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were eliminated in the areas of Novomikhailovka, Vladimirovka and Novoselovka. The total Ukrainian losses per day amounted to 50 people killed and wounded here, and also include an armored car, a tractor and two pickup trucks.
Donetsk today came under heavy shelling from rocket launchers and Western howitzers: in total, more than a hundred heavy shells fell on the city in a day. It is reported about the destruction and injured civilians, the information is being specified.
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